INTRODUCTIONHuman T‐lymphotropic virus‐1 (HTLV‐1) is an oncogenic human retrovirus that causes adult T‐cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) and progressive HTLV‐1‐associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). HTLV‐2, which is known to be endemic in African Pygmies and Native Americans as well as common in drug users, has not been clearly linked to any diseases.Worldwide, it is estimated that about 15 to 20 million people are infected with HTLV. The prevalence varies according to the geographic area, socio‐demographics and ethnic composition of the population, as well as specific risk groups, such as injecting drug users, sex workers, and people living with HIV (PLWH). In Brazil, it is estimated that 2.5 million people are infected with HTLV, with a frequency that varies according to geographic localization, but Brazil is undoubtedly considered an endemic area. The virus is transmitted from human to human through infected lymphocytes and may be acquired through sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, organ transplantations, contaminated needle reuse, and from mother‐to‐child transmission (MTCT) during pregnancy, at birth, and, more commonly, through breastfeeding.The studies evaluating the frequency of HTLV‐1 infection among pregnant women in Brazil have shown prevalence levels varying from 0.08% to 1.30%. However, investigation of HTLV during prenatal care is scarce, and little
Journal of Medical Virology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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